Capitals not scared of Fire but sweating on Nat Hurst

Keely Froling has declared the Canberra Capitals aren’t scared of the Townsville Fire despite the prospect of losing captain Nat Hurst for the WNBL showdown.

Hurst will be given until game day to prove her fitness for the Townsville clash as she continues to battle a middle ear infection.

The Capitals will pay tribute to the “true believers” when they wear a special edition members jersey for their game against Townsville at the National Convention Centre on Thursday night.

The jersey bears the names of every club member, and Capitals coach Paul Goriss has called for them all to be on hand come Thursday because there is no “bigger game than Townsville coming into town”.

The Capitals will need every bit of support they can muster if they are forced to face the championship contenders without their in-form captain.

Hurst trained for 30 minutes on Tuesday morning and had another light session with the team in the afternoon but her health remains a “day by day” proposition.

Hurst missed Sunday’s win over Adelaide and she won’t be rushed back into the line-up if she isn’t fit with another game against Dandenong looming on Saturday.

“It’s just up to her with how she feels on the day of the game. We made that decision on Sunday that she wasn’t ready to play so it’ll be another game day decision for her,” Goriss said.

“She was a bit pale, a bit dizzy and a bit underdone. You don’t want to put a player’s health in jeopardy, especially when it’s a big game on the line for us with our win streak going.

“Day by day she is seeing the doctor, she’s got another follow up [on Wednesday]. Just as long as she’s got her balance right, she’s not dizzy and she can perform, she’ll suit up and play.”

If Hurst is ruled out the Capitals boast a readymade replacement in 19-year-old point guard Maddison Rocci, who fired in her first start for Canberra against Adelaide.

Goriss says every member of the roster needs to step up if Canberra are to make it four wins on the trot as they come up against a team boasting “depth all over the court”.

The Fire boast superstars in Suzy Batkovic and Cayla George and are a genuine title threat but Froling isn’t the slightest bit worried as Canberra look to avoid the wooden spoon.

“They’re a great team but we’re going in to win,” Froling said.

“We’re not scared and we have nothing to lose so we want to go out there and get as many wins as we can before the season ends. We’re not scared of Townsville at all and we want to win.

“Right now we’re just going in to win and trying to upset other people’s seasons so that’s our goal right now. We want to get as many wins as we can at the end of the season.

“Obviously confidence is a big thing and you learn how to win. It’s a habit so now we’ve got out of our losing habit and we’ve put that behind us and now hopefully winning is our habit.”


Thursday: Round 11 – Canberra Capitals v Townsville at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

Saturday: Round 11 – Dandenong Rangers v Canberra Capitals at Dandenong, 6.30pm.

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